Mittwoch, 14. Dezember 2016

Migrant Sicily Newsletter, November 2016

  • Drawn out landing operations, hurried rejections and packed centres: a journey into the crisis of the Sicilian reception system
  • A future denied to those who survive the sea, between the limbo of the CAS and the hell of the fields
  • Overcrowding, isolation and exclusion. Migrant reception as business, even at the expense of minors
  • Pozzallo: the Hotspot approach and the violation of human rights
  • News: Noëmi Landolt tells WOZ about the Libyan Coast Guard attack on the Sea-Watch 2
  • Info and contacts

DRAWN OUT LANDING OPERATIONS, HURRIED REJECTIONS AND PACKED CENTRES: A JOURNEY INTO THE CRISIS OF THE SICILIAN RECEPTION SYSTEM

The lack of serious planning in the method of structuring the reception system creates for the consolidation of inhumane practices which affect migrants without any mercy, even when dealing with women, children and other vulnerable people. In Palermo, the landing operations now take more than 40 hours, and the identification procedures – aimed at identifying suspected boat drivers and witnesses – prevail over the duty to help people who have been tested by the exhaustion and dangers of travelling on the open sea.



Again in Palermo, those who are not deported can instead end up abandoned on the street without even the basic means to “voluntarily remove themselves.” This is what happened to 50 North Africans left to wander round the central station without money for a ticket to leave, and only an expulsion notice in their pockets.


Rejections have started again for the North Africans who arrive in Porto Empedoclewhile the doors of the overcrowded hub at Villa Sikania open for all of the other arrivals, as well as those of the numerous centres for minors in the province of Agrigento, in a total lack essential services.


The inadequacies of an emergency approach for the managing of a continuous flow of people fleeing war and misery is entirely clear in Trapani and Lampedusa, where the Hotspots are being pushed to the edge, resulting in serious situations of overcrowding and a lack of appropriate separations based on age or gender.



A FUTURE DENIED TO THOSE WHO SURVIVE THE SEA, BETWEEN THE LIMBO OF THE CAS* AND THE HELL OF THE FIELDS

For migrants who arrive in Europe, the future is congealed, imprisoned in the net of a system detaining people in structures which by law are meant to host them only for the time necessary for identification and to begin the document process but which, de facto, end up being centres substituting for the next step of reception. In such places, life drags along slowly between bad services and a lack of communication between workers and the managing bodies.


In Campobello di Mazara, in the camp where the migrants working in the olive harvest live, the future is cut short by a present of mere survival characterised by exploitation and degrading conditions.


OVERCROWDING, ISOLATION AND EXCLUSION. MIGRANT RECEPTION AS BUSINESS, EVEN AT THE EXPENSE OF MINORS

The Sicilian reception system is being tested by huge numbers. The Prefectures have authorised the opening of new CAS* and centres of 'first reception' destined to host young migrants. The time spent in such overcrowded centres, which guarantee only minimal support and are often in extremely isolated places, ought be limited. Instead, minors end up remaining here for a long time, without support from the professional figures who should accompany them through the procedures to obtain documents, and help them integrate into the local communities.


For those who have not resigned themselves to the stagnancy of a system which cannot protect or safeguard them, the only option is to run away, far from the centres for minors, and far from Italy.



POZZALLO: THE HOTSPOT APPROACH AND THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The former CPSA* at Pozzallo is one of 4 Italian centres where the Hotspot procedures have been undertaken, focussed on the identification of migrants, including the obligatory provision of fingerprints, and the singling out of suspected boat drivers. And from here the Melting Pot Europe investigations began, the object of the Overtherfortress campaign, which is to shed light on the violation of rights and on the inhumane conditions in which those who have survived war, the hell of Libya and the dangers of the sea are forced to live.


NEWS: NOËMI LANDOLT TELLS WOZ ABOUT THE LIBYAN COAST GUARD ATTACK ON THE SEA-WATCH 2

An activist of the German NGO Sea-Watch found herself on the humanitarian vessel on the night of October 21st, in the middle of rescuing a rubber boat in distress. The Libyan Coast Guard intervened, attacking the migrants with sticks. Thirty people fell in the sea and drowned. The dramatic testimony of that hellish night:



INFO AND CONTACTS

For information on how to donare to Borderline Sicilia Onlus - Banca Etica Popolare di Palermo Agenzia di Via Catania, 24 IBAN IT 28 Q 0501804600000000141148 Codice BIC CCRTIT2T84A – and for updates on the current situation of migration in Sicily see the blog:

www.siciliamigranti.blogspot.com  or follow our Facebook page:



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Project "OpenEurope" - Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus

*CAS = Centro di Accoglienza Straordinaria [Extraordinary Reception Centre]
*CPSA = Centro di Soccorso e Prima Accoglienza [Centre for Rescuing and First Reception

Translation: Richard Braude

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